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Javier Lopez, heavy mobile equipment repairman with ECS 171, makes fine adjustments to the wheel base of a Hemet Wrecker at ECS 171 aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow's Yermo Annex, Feb. 4. ECS 171 employees maintain and store various types of equipment for use by Army units rotating to Fort Irwin for training.

Photo by Laurie Pearson

Equipment Concentration Site 171 provides supplemental gear

12 Feb 2016 | Laurie Pearson Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow

Civilians and contractors with Equipment Concentration Site 171, aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow’s Yermo Annex provide supplemental equipment to Army units in the area, Feb 5.

   “ECS 171 is attached to 63rd RSC (Regional Support Command) which is in Mountain View,” said Hector Perez, site manager. ”It’s all under the United States Army Reserve Command.”

   Units sent to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., typically get most of their equipment from NTC and ECS 171 provides as much as we are able, explained Perez. The rest is transported in from their home unit.

   “It’s like a rental,” said Perez. “Units pick up what they need then return it in ‘as good or better condition’ when they’re finished.” 

   One such unit is Tomahawk Troop, Regimental Engineer Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Division, U.S. Army out of Fort Hood, Texas.  They arrived Friday to pick up High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles and Hemet Wreckers.

   “It makes it convenient,” said Sgt. Roy Balambao, recovery specialist with 3rd Cav’s Tomahawk Troop.  “We bring what we can and NTC provides some (equipment), but we can just stop here to get whatever else we need on the way.”

   The facility has been operational at the Yermo Annex since 2006.  The staff consists of 41 contractors and eight civilians who maintain and store a variety of equipment, offering a local solution to logistical needs. In doing so, ETC 171 saves the Army both, money and time.

   The civilian positions fall under the Military Technician program with the Army. MILTECHs are federal civilian employees who, as a condition of employment, continue to serve as Soldiers in the Army Reserve or other reserve component. For example, Perez, who served in the Army on active duty from 2003 to 2006, and deployed to Iraq during that time, continues to serve as a staff sergeant with the 63rd Brigade Support Battalion out of Sloan, Nevada, in the Army Reserve.

   “Right now, we support the Army, but in the near future we expect to serve other branches of service as well,” said Perez.

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